Mengwen Cao is a photographer, artist and cultural organizer. Born and raised in China, they are currently based in New York, United States. As a queer immigrant, they use care and tenderness to explore the spaces between race, gender, and cultural identity. As a board member of Authority Collective and a founding member of Chinese Storytellers, Cao is championing diverse narratives and perspectives in the media industry.
Their projects have been featured in publications like The New York Times, The New Yorker, NPR, Neocha. They have participated in exhibitions like Photoville, Jimei Arles, Lianzhou Foto Festival. They were selected as one of the six global talents in Asia by World Press Photo's 6x6 program in 2020. They received NLGJA’s Excellence in Photojournalism Award in 2019. They were recognized by The Lit List in 2018 and PDN 30 New and Emerging Photographers to Watch in 2019.